I am thankful that I can say that I have never lived through a tornado. I don’t know how people do. I’ve seen The Wizard of Oz enough to know that I don’t want to be swept up and taken away to a far away and unfamiliar place. That’s what can happen though both literally and figuratively in real life. You can lose yourself and everything else in a split second.
Sometimes it’s our lives that feel like a storm is tearing the shingles off the roof. We can feel the wind kicking up as we try to quickly put things in order to be prepared. Sometimes life comes at us hard and we get caught up with the flying debris. It’s scary as hell.
Our thoughts can do the same thing. They run rampant in our mind and are sometimes worse than anything tangible because they are so hard to control…just like nature. Our thoughts can be full of fury, confusion, and a big old mess.
Feeling like you are caught in the outer edges of the swirling tornado is a really horrible place to be. You are feeling out of control and there is debris and collateral damage everywhere. When you feel like this you need to seek the Vortex; the calm in the center of the storm.
Have you ever created a whirlpool? Everyone walks around the inside of the pool in the same motion. It starts slowly, but soon enough the current starts to whip up and take over. If you get a good one going you can just ride it around the pool, but watch out for the pool toys…they are right there with you. Did you know that if you make a break and walk into the center of the pool it is calm. Everything is circling you; your friends and the rest of the things in the pool circle around you. You are in the center though and it is calm.
In life you will experience this phenomenon more often than you might realize. Life’s circumstances influence our thoughts every minute of the day. When life or your thoughts feel like they are taking over and you are losing control and you are being swept up into the whirlpool, seek your center. If you realize this in the midst of the chaos then you can still make the choice to take a breath and move to the center. Close your eyes and take a deep breath and know that at that moment you are safe.
This takes some practice to become habit. I remember when I used to work in a big office and it would get chaotic and crazy when deadlines were looming. I would shut my office door and just find the center. It only takes a minute, but if you can learn to do this then you can see the debris and duck before it knocks you on your ass.
Remember that we sometimes have to lose ourselves to find ourselves. Sometimes we have to fall apart to build ourselves back up stronger. When this is happening don’t forget that the safe haven is within yourself. Find your center and take a deep breath and just let the chaos swirl about you. Don’t worry, it won’t disappear. You will still have a chance to try to get a handle on things and do damage control. For a minute though if you seek the center and give yourself a moment of calm you can face what’s out there in the chaotic swirl of life a little more grounded.